Definition of Varangian in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /vəˈrandʒɪən/


A member of the bands of Scandinavian voyagers who travelled by land and up rivers into Russia in the 9th and 10th centuries ad, establishing the Rurik dynasty and gaining great influence in the Byzantine Empire.
Example sentences
  • In the ninth century, the Varangians were forced to retreat in the face of Slavonic defenders of Novgorod, who were well armed with iron spears and swords.
  • Much of the ensuing progress is attributed to the Varangians who visited Rus in the mid-ninth century.
  • They appear in the chronicles as the Varangians, famous for their fighting ability.


From medieval Latin Varangus (a name ultimately from Old Norse, probably based on vár 'pledge') + -ian.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: Var¦an|gian

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Related Words